How to Repair a Garage Door Opener Remote Control

What You'll Need
Receiver manual

You pull into the driveway after a long day at work and reach for the garage door opener remote control. Nothing happens as you wait to enter the house. Luckily, it’s not raining, so you casually stroll to the front door with your key. Inside you find that the garage door will open from the wall switch. The problem is in your remote control.

Step 1 – Determining the Brand

Dozens of companies worldwide produce garage door opening systems, and many of them differ in design and appearance. They all, though, use similar technologies. Look on the side of the receiver, usually attached next to the overhead garage door opener, for the manufacturer’s name. Remotes often are standardized and may not be the same brand as the receiver, but the model and make of the garage door opener remote control receiver will indicate the frequency and other specifications of the remote. Some popular brands are Genie, Chamberlain, Craftsman, Stanley and HomeLink. You may also check feedback and reviews of the users. Once you finalize, go online and search for an instruction manual for your particular receiver.

Step 2 – Inspecting the Control

Remote control boxes are usually plastic and can be opened by slipping a screwdriver into the slot on the edge. Carefully spread the case from one end to the other and it will snap apart. Be careful not to lose the plastic insert that presses against the switch to activate the remote. Beneath it is the battery. A low or dead battery will prevent the remote from communicating with the receiver. Other components attached to the circuit board cannot be serviced.

Step 3 – Seeking a Solution

The most likely problem is the battery. It is round, about the size of a quarter, and usually carries 3 volts. A replacement battery at a home improvement or discount store costs about $4. If this is not the problem, the unit may have lost its frequency. If the receiver and remote use switches for programming, it is not likely that anyone has changed them. In the event that the receiver uses a learn function button, the remote can be reprogrammed. The learn switch will be located near the antenna on your receiver. Press the button, and an indicator light will shine on the garage door opener. You must hold the corresponding learn button down on the remote until the motor light begins blinking.

Step 4 – Finding the Answer

If neither the battery, learn light, nor the programmable switches solve the problem, you must purchase either a new remote control or a remote control/receiver kit. If you can’t find a remote by the maker of your receiver, many companies produce universal units costing from $15 to $40. As for buying a new system, the aforementioned companies offer generic units at prices ranging from $50 to $150. At least with a new garage door opener remote control, you’ll never be left out in the rain.